Misiones History


The province of Misiones is named after the Jesuit peoples, but its history is based on the roots of indigenous America.The Guaraní Indians, from the Tupí-Guaraní family, from the Amazon, arrived in what is now missionary territory around the year 1000. In their mythical search for the “land without evil” they settled down on the banks of rivers and streams. to small isolated groups that populated this practically uninhabited territory and did the same with more important groups, such as the Guayaqui and Kaingang. The Guarani were warriors, hunters and gatherers. They called themselves "avá," meaning "man." But they also possessed great artistic skills and an agricultural tradition. They shared the same language and strengthened their communities through kinship ties. Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, the Guarani occupied a large part of the Plata Basin, an immense territory defined by the Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay rivers with their tributaries.The Spanish conquerors began to explore the Plata Basin after the founding of Buenos Aires (1536) and Asunción (1537). One of them, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, departed from the Brazilian coast towards the city of Asunción, made contact with numerous Guaraní groups and met the wonder of the Iguazu Falls (1542) .In the early days, the relations between Spaniards and Guarani were relatively cordial, but the ambitions of the Spaniards led to abuse and domination through what was called the "encomienda." This system created by the Spanish crown granted lands and natives to Spaniards who became masters and lords of the life of their “entrusted”. The arrival of the Jesuits would cause various conflicts. The parents of the Society of Jesus, founded by Ignacio de Loyola in 1539, settled in a geographical area of ​​political tension between two colonial empires of the time: Spain and Portugal. The more than 200 years of permanence in the Guarani region were marked by the pressures and aggressions of both sides. The imprint of those years would forever imprint a strong identity in the region. The missions formed a unique experience in this part of America and left many testimonies that manifest themselves in the ruins of their villages and remain in values, myths and legends. After the expulsion of the Jesuits by King Carlos III, in 1767, and with the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, the governorates and intendances were formed, and this region became dependent on Asunción.The May Revolution of 1810 enhanced the fighting over the territory of Misiones, which were disputed by Paraguayans, Portuguese and independentists . Andresito, adopted son of Artigas, who was appointed governor by his father, avoided the incorporation of Misiones as a Portuguese possession with his Guarani forces. Years later, the South of Misiones was occupied by Paraguayans, Correntinos and Brazilians. After the War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) the boundaries of the province were defined. In 1881, Misiones was declared a National Territory and its governor set the capital in Corpus, first, and finally, in Posadas. 19th century the different European immigration waves began. The arrival of immigration began in the South, in the Apostles area, where the contingents of Poles and Ukrainians occupied the farms assigned to the agricultural colonies. Subsequently, in the Alto Paraná area, the colonizing companies bought land and sold it to European settlers, especially Germans and Swiss, to form the towns of Monte Carlo, Puerto Rico and Eldorado. But one of the most interesting phenomena was recorded in the Central Zone, in Oberá, where the colonization was spontaneous, with the arrival of Scandinavians, Italians, French, Russians, Poles, Swiss and Spaniards, who together with Paraguayans and Brazilians A multiethnic community. Subsequently, this area and other Missions would receive Asian immigrants: Arabs, Turks and Japanese.In 1953, Misiones obtained its province status.